We've entertained many a happy hour debate about the potential benefits of the recession -- namely, its demolition of homogeny in favor of a village-like system of commerce. Now that malls are going towards smaller retailers, could it indeed be so?
Many people who move to New York, especially the fashion-conscious, make strong note of their escape from mall culture. During the country's years of excess in the face of economic prosperity, monoliths took over with their family-size toilet paper and $3 jeans specials (all in one store!). Meanwhile, we fled for the tiny, albeit overpriced, boutiques that oozed character along the lanes of Manhattan and the outer boroughs.
But look! Malls can't pay the rent (like us!) and are courting smaller, more regionally focused retailers in favor of big box national chains. WWD reports on a number of malls across the country making deals with smaller, specialty focused stores in light of corporate restructuring among the ranks of the big ones (Ann Taylor, et al) and real estate liquidation that leaves -- gasp! -- too many empty storefronts.
To us, and likely many of you, dear readers, this is an exciting prospect -- finally, the tiny guys getting the respect they deserve.